Are Hair Transplants Permanent? Let's Break It Down

19 Jan, 2024

When you hear about "hair transplants," you might envision the patchy, noticeable hair plugs from years ago. However, advancements in hair transplant techniques, especially over the past decade, have come a long way. Hair transplantation is a hair restoration solution, an outpatient process using micrografting technology. This technique involves transplanting your hair follicles to areas of your scalp experiencing thinning. The outcomes of a hair transplant are not only visibly enduring but are also considered permanent. Despite its effectiveness, the procedure is time-intensive and requires a healing and recovery period. Consequently, people with significant hair thinning on their scalp are the ideal candidates for a hair transplant.

Are Hair Transplants Permanent?

Following the grafting of your hair follicles into areas with thinning hair, your skin requires time to recover. It's typical for some hair to shed during the initial three months post-procedure. The hair growth process spans from 6 to 12 months. Once the healing is complete in 3 months, the transplanted follicles initiates hair growth, effectively filling in the bald patches on your scalp. This newly grown hair is subject to natural growth as you age. The relocation of the hair follicles is permanent; there is no method to revert them to their original position.

Could there be a need for another procedure?

It's conceivable that your initial hair transplantation may not mark the conclusion of your journey. Some people may be advised by their doctor to undergo multiple "sessions" of transplant surgery to attain their desired results. This typically happens if patients do not take appropriate medicines to prevent further hair loss (in relation to hair existing pre transplant). On the other hand, some candidates may find satisfaction with the outcomes of their initial hair transplant after healing and may subsequently opt for additional procedures to address further thinning areas on their head.

Types of Hair Transplant Procedures

There are presently two types of contemporary hair transplantation procedures in practice. The Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) procedure involves transplanting a strip of your own hair follicles, extracted from the back of your scalp, to areas experiencing hair thinning or baldness. This method produces linear scars. Alternatively, the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method employs small punctures to transplant follicles one-by-one from various areas on your head to regions with thinning or balding hair. This method produces minimal scars, which are virtually undetectable. Both these hair transplantation procedures are regarded as permanent.

What will be the Visual Outcome?

After the completion of your hair transplant procedure, there is a waiting period before observable results emerge. During the initial healing phase of the transplanted hair sections, you may experience temporary hair loss for the first few months. Your provider should reassure you that this is a normal and anticipated part of the process. Upon complete healing of your hair transplant, you will witness the emergence of your own hair follicles. The transplanted hair will grow, eventually matching the texture and length of the surrounding hair. Hair transplants performed through micrografting techniques allow for cutting, styling, and dyeing according to your preferences.

What to Expect Long-Term?

Your hair transplant is expected to endure over the long term. While there is a possibility of hair follicles thinning with age, they are likely to continue producing at least some hair throughout your lifetime. Should ongoing hair thinning occur, it won't follow the previous "pattern" of natural hair loss, and your hairline won't recede accordingly. Your provider should engage in a thorough discussion with you to formulate a plan, ensuring that your hair maintains a natural and non-patchy appearance in the years following your hair transplant.

When to Consult with a hair transplant doctor?

If you feel self-conscious about your hair loss problem, you should consult with your hair transplant doctor. There are certain medical conditions and medications that can lead to hair loss as a side effect. Before being deemed a candidate for a hair transplant, it may be necessary to eliminate or rule out external factors. Unlike some medical procedures, there isn't a standardized credentialing process for doctors performing hair transplantation. Therefore, it is essential to conduct thorough research when selecting a doctor for this procedure. Seek out a skilled and experienced healthcare professional for hair transplantation, which may include dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, and plastic surgeons. Request multiple sets of before and after photos, and engage in discussions with a potential provider about the method and process of your hair transplant before scheduling your appointment.

The Bottom Line

Hair transplants serve as a viable treatment for visibly thinning hair. The outcomes of a hair transplant are deemed permanent due to their irreversible nature. Nevertheless, the appearance of your hair transplant post-healing may not necessarily remain constant throughout your life. It is crucial to find a skilled provider with an understanding of crafting a natural-looking, enduring hair transplant design to ensure satisfaction with the long-term results.